Seven Days to Live 

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1 Wednesday


A Fertile Dialogue, now at Cottonwood Center for the Arts (427 E. Colorado Ave., cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com), calls to mind Sylvia Plath's uneasy outlook on pregnancy, the poem "Metaphors": "I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf." Of course, child-rearing isn't the only marker of womanhood, and so it's just one of the subjects addressed by the five women who've contributed art to Fertile: Chelsea Boucher, Nichole Fetterhoff, Karen Khoury, Carol Mordecai Myers and Felicia Sheumaker. Catch the show now through July 18 and feel better than Plath: "I've eaten a bag of green apples / Boarded the train there's no getting off." — Edie Adelstein

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2 Thursday

rodeo 1

OK, it's not quite the Spanish running of the bulls — which, given how few balconies there are to climb along Tejon Street, is probably for the best. But our local Longhorn Cattle Drive (championshipranchrodeo.com) is still the best way to catch a herd of cloven-hooved creatures stampeding through downtown Colorado Springs at high noon. Count on plenty of horseback handlers to keep the herd from getting too feisty during today's annual kickoff to the Ride for the Brand championship ranch rodeo, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Norris-Penrose Event Center. — Bill Forman

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3 Friday


Some 13 years before Bobby Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass began one of his most famous speeches with an acknowledgment of how nervous he was to give it. He then launched into an emotional indictment of our country, asking his New York friends who requested he speak in honor of the holiday if they were mocking him with the invitation. "What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?" Douglass thundered. "... There is not a nation on the Earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour." Hear it read by the community, and read aloud yourself, at 5 tonight at Mountain Fold Books (121 E. Costilla St., mountainfoldbooks.org). — Bryce Crawford

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4 Saturday


Shortly after the British learned of the Declaration of Independence, commander-in-chief Lord William Howe wrote Benjamin Franklin, offering peace and pardons. "It is impossible we should think of Submission to a Government," Franklin responded on July 21, 1776, "that has with the most wanton Barbarity and Cruelty, burnt our defenceless Towns in the midst of Winter, excited the Savages to massacre our Farmers, and our Slaves to murder their Masters, and is even now bringing foreign Mercenaries to deluge our Settlements with Blood. These atrocious Injuries have extinguished every remaining Spark of Affection for that Parent Country we once held so dear ..." Five years later, Massachusetts' state legislature became the first to officially recognize Independence Day, and it's been "U-S-A, U-S-A" ever since. Find ways to celebrate here. — Bryce Crawford

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5 Sunday

kids & family

What starts with soap and ends in ice cream can only be a good thing. Especially if in between there are giant bubbles, circus acts and magic from Mr. Guffaw, aka the Springs' celebrity clown, played by Jim Jackson of the Millibo Art Theatre (1626 S. Tejon St., themat.org). I'm talking about the Big Bubble Circus, happening today (as well as July 18 and 19 and Aug. 1 and 2, all at 7 p.m.). For $12 per person, expect bubbles "as big as the stage, a bubble containing an audience member or two, a window of bubbles, bubble sculpture, bubbles of glass and even balloon bubbles," followed by a free ice cream sundae outdoors. Isn't July the best? — Edie Adelstein

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6 Monday


Yes, it's summer for certain in our little burg, and as the MAT just proved on the 5th, that means it's time for dessert outdoors. How do you feel about pie and ice cream? Come to Soda Springs Park (1016 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs) between 5 and 8 p.m. for the 2015 Manitou Springs Good Ole Summertime Ice Cream Social & Pie Baking Contest. Have a slice of pie baked by your friends and neighbors for $2, preferably under a $1 scoop of Old Colorado City Creamery ice cream, then while away the evening with music by the Little London Winds starting at 7. For more information, go to manitousprings.org. — Griffin Swartzell

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7 Tuesday

rodeo 2

Yes, we're just days removed from the longhorn cattle drive through downtown for the Ride for the Brand rodeo, but the 75-year-old Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo (pikespeakorbust.org) won't be out-trampled so easily. Organizers are hosting their own free parade through downtown, on Tejon Street from St. Vrain Street to Vermijo Avenue, at 6:30 this evening, to raise money for military families. This is ahead of three more days of happenings at Norris-Penrose Event Center; visit the website for a full schedule of happenings, to include the ever-popular mutton bustin' competition. — Matthew Schniper


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